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Guidelines for Women With PCOS 

If you’re a woman with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), your physician has likely advised you to control your weight through diet and exercise. However, the symptoms of this disease can sometimes make movement challenging. If you’re a fitness buff with this disorder, what guidelines should you follow when exercising?

Running and Exercise Guidelines for Women With PCOS

The good news is, you can partake in nearly any running and exercise regimen you love. You merely need to listen to your body and vary your routine on particularly trying days. If you’re getting started with a workout program to help manage your disease and improve your overall well-being, keep the following tips in mind.

1. Talk to Your Gynecologist

Unsure if you have PCOS? Your gynecologist can confirm your diagnosis of PCOS as well as test you for sexually transmitted diseases that may complicate your symptoms. They may perform a series of exams to confirm your diagnosis. The good news is that even if you don’t end up being diagnosed with PCOS, many of these exams are still beneficial. For example, getting regular pelvic exams is recommended for anyone above the age of 21 years old.

If you are diagnosed with PCOS, your gynecologist may recommend an exercise regimen designed to minimize your pain. For example, you might experience a condition called mittelschmerz, or pain with ovulation. This condition can cause period-like cramping when you ovulate. Your gynecologist can recommend exercises designed to minimize your discomfort during this time.

2. Make Exercise Enjoyable

You’re more likely to stick to any exercise regimen if you enjoy it. How can you make your runs and exercise sessions more enjoyable? One way is to pencil in a workout date for each day of your workweek. If you know you have 30 minutes to fill, you’ll naturally gravitate toward running.

You can also phone a friend and try new things together. It’s more challenging to flake if you know you have a buddy waiting for you at the gym — even if you don’t feel your 100% best.

3. Fuel Yourself with Health Foods

Even though exercise helps you control your weight, it can’t do the job solo if you follow an unhealthy diet. Many women with PCOS develop insulin resistance as a complication of their condition because hormonal imbalances can cause cravings for foods high in sugar. Strive to consume more healthy fats in your diet. Foods such as nuts and seeds are abundant in the beneficial kinds of fatty acids that keep you feeling full longer. This satiety helps you curb cravings for doughnuts and pie.

While you’re improving your diet, try filling at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal. These foods are high in fiber but low in calories. That means they also help you stay full without packing on the unwanted pounds. Veggies in a variety of hues provide you with a full array of phytonutrients critical for optimal health.

4. Think Low-Impact on High-Pain Days

If you’re a dedicated runner, you might feel like you’re not getting an effective workout when you’re not pounding the pavement. However, forcing yourself to put in your miles on particular days can cause unnecessary pain. Ovarian cysts can rupture more readily with strenuous exercise or sexual activity. These sometimes resolve independently, but they can require surgery in some cases.

To minimize your chances of a ruptured cyst, switch to a low-impact form of cardiovascular exercise during ovulation days. Go for a walk instead of a run. If you practice cross-training, make these the days you hit the weight room or do yoga.

5. Listen to Your Body

It’s natural to want to bite your thumb at your disease and say, “you don’t control my life!” However, when your symptoms become excruciating, it’s OK to take your foot off the gas pedal.

If you’re not sure whether you should lace up your running shoes, do a compassionate body scan to evaluate how you feel. If your pain remains localized to your abdominal region and it doesn’t have you doubled over, it’s OK to push a little. However, if the agony radiates up your back or you feel completely drained and anemic, give your body the rest it needs. Practice some gentle yoga and relaxation meditation, then kick back with your hot water bottle.

You Can Enjoy a Healthy Fitness Regimen With PCOS

You can run and work out with PCOS — indeed, exercise can alleviate many symptoms of the disease. However, it’s essential to listen to how you feel and treat yourself with TLC when your body

article by Kate Harveston


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